During a home pest control visit, I asked my pest-control specialist how we can get rid of spiders, and he told me something that left me feeling a little uncomfortable: there really isn’t a sure-fire method to keep spiders from getting into your home. He said we can get rid of them when we see them, but there aren’t chemicals or devices that specifically repel spiders. I have found that there are some ways to reduce the unwelcomed visit from those creepers, though, and those ways are quite natural.
Weatherize your Home
Summer is the time I most often see large spider creepers in my home. I have seen them in the laundry room, in rooms with open windows, and behind doors. While spider sightings happen just about anywhere, the most common sightings happen near entryways to the home, so I’ve deduced that the spiders have been getting in through doors, windows, and small openings from indoor-to-outdoor connections such as my drier exhaust. Sealing or weatherizing your home for the coming summer reduces your energy bill, which is particularly important in the summer season (especially for those of us in warm most states such as Florida), and more importantly, you will substantially reduce the chances of spiders creeping into your home. So, spider season is a good time to get green.
Clear the Brush from your Home
Where I live in central Florida, the spring really pops floral growth into hyper drive, but plant growth near the home breeds spider populations. To reduce the chance that spiders are thriving all around the creeks and crannies of your house, looking for a chance to pop in for a visit, mow, weed-eat, and trim the plant growth from around your house. Look at the trees that surround your home too. Tree branches form little spider bridges for pests to land on your roof and find an access into your attic or some other entrance. Be sure to have the tree branches trimmed to stop spider intruders as well as to preserve the maintenance of your roof.
Reduce Spider Food Sources
Spiders eat bugs. I’m never 100 percent certain I want to reduce spider populations as effectively as I imagine I could, because the reality is that other insects creep me out as much as spiders do. That said, a good way to ensure the insect and spider population in your people-habitat has dwindled is to attack the insects. Keep food sources put away and covered to reduce flies. Fruit bowls are lovely, but after some time, they may attract flies and other insects that spiders like eating. Keep recycle bins and trash bins away from the house to reduce bug attractions. Also, night lighting attracts a good deal of flying insects. If you keep a porch light on at night, you may notice spiders, frogs, and bugs forming a mini-ecological environment on your porch. You can either turn the light off or find lighting that is designed to deter or repel the insects that attract spiders.
Experiment with Organic Spider Repellents
Considering my local pest control expert seemed to have zero confidence that any substance repels spiders, I’m a bit apprehensive that anything will work to keep them at bay; however, I’ve long heard of anecdotal success stories of keeping spiders out of the home through the use of certain natural substances. Spiders have organs in their legs and pedipalps (the small leg-looking structures by their heads which look similar to antennae) that help spiders taste and smell.
If there is any chance that there is a substance that disturbs a spider, putting it where a spider could gain entrance to the home would be effective (window sills, doors, Etc.) While I have encountered quite a lot of anecdotal support for peppermint oil as a spider repellant, I have not found any verifiable sources that support the efficacy of peppermint oil as a spider repellant. On a side note, I bought a supposedly natural flea and tick guard for my cats and saw that one of the active ingredients was peppermint oil. Since anecdotes are sometimes born of truth, I can only imagine that peppermint oil could present some hope for people who want to oust spiders from their homes. Put about 5 drops of peppermint essential oil into a spray bottle filled with warm water, then add a quick squirt of dish soap to help disperse the oil into the water. Spray windows and doors with the solution to help ward off spiders. If anything, the solution smells nice and may give you some hope that you’ve thwarted a spider invasion.